Maldives President calls India visit 'success', bats for stronger ties

Thursday, 13 Jun, 2024
Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu with India's Foreign Minister S Jaishankar. (Photo courtesy: X@DrSJaishankar)

New Delhi: Maldives' pro-China President Mohamed Muizzu has hailed his first official visit to India as a major success, saying that he hoped it would lead to stronger bilateral relations between the two nations.

"God willing, the strong ties between the two nations will result in increased prosperity for the Maldives and Maldivians alike," Muizzu, told a state-run broadcaster after his visit to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Council of Ministers.

Muizzu, Accompanied by a high-level government delegation, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to hold high-level meetings with the Prime Minister, President Droupadi Murmu, and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. "This trip has been a success for the Maldives and for the region too," he said.

During his meeting with PM Modi at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on June 9, he discussed various issues, and the two leaders attended a banquet together, where Muizzu was seated beside the PM. In his meeting with President Murmu, the Maldivian leader expressed his gratitude for the warm hospitality and acknowledged India’s continuous assistance to the Maldives. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also met with Muizzu, expressing hope for closer cooperation between the two nations in the future.

Muizzu’s visit follows a recent visit by the Maldives Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer to India as the two nations walk a diplomatic tightrope after relations nosedived last year when the newly sworn-in President demanded the withdrawal of all Indian military personnel operating three aviation platforms from his country.

A massive row had erupted over derogatory remarks made by Maldivian ministers about PM Modi on social media, resulting in a 'Boycott Maldives' call in India that put a dent in the coffers of the island nation, where the tourism sector is its "lifeblood".